This essay Temagami has a total of 4496 words and 21 pages.


Table of Contents

Introduction 2
The History of the Forest 2
The Forests of Canada 3

Part One: The History of the Logger 5
The Canadian Forestry Industry 5
The Ontario Forestry Industry 7

Part Two: Forest Conservation in Ontario 8
Political Activity 8
Temagami 9

Part Three: The Temagami Debate 11
The Forester 11
The Environmentalist 12

Part Four: The Law of the Land 13
Civil Disobedience 13
Government Legislation / Wildlands League Lawsuit 15
Natural vs. Positive Law 16

Conclusion 17
Summation 17
Future Outlook 18

Bibliography and Suggested Reading 21

Appendix.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


"Our understanding of the way the natural world works - and how our actions
affect it - is often incomplete. This means that we [must] exercise caution,
and special concern for natural values in the face of such uncertainty and
respect the 'precautionary principal'." - Ontario Minister of Natural Resources,

The History of the Forest

Forests have long been recognized as having vast power, both through their
potential and how it has been viewed by humans, as well as through their effect
on humans in sometimes subtle ways. The inherent properties of wood have always
made it attractive as a versatile resource but there are other, more subtle ways
in which it affects people. The tropical rainforests, responsible for producing
most of the earth's breathable air, have been given the lofty title of "lungs of
the Earth," and as stated by the Canadian Encyclopedia Plus '93, "forests
provide an additional, although intangible, benefit: the opportunity for renewal
of the human spirit" (CAN ENCYC). Once humanity accepts these facts, we open
ourselves up to profound responsibilities regarding their protection.
Unfortunately for both ourselves and our environment, we have long deigned to
shoulder these responsibilities, seeing only the obvious potential of the end
product of wood; overall, humanity has always managed the forests very poorly,
even before forest management became an issue.
Since earliest civilized times, wood has been coveted as a resource for
its ability to burn, as well as its pliable nature. With the discovery of fire,
came hand in hand the need for fuel. Fortunately, trees have always been
abundant in all reaches of the earth, which has made living in harsh climates
easier, greatly increasing our already rapid rate of expansion. Eventually
electricity replaced wood as a source of energy, but the uses for wood have
expanded over time to include building material and paper, and to the present
day trees remain important to industry on a global scale. Unfortunately, humans
have always had a poor reputation in regards to their environment, the forests
being no exceptions. We have always looked upon resources as something to be
exploited - used to the fullest, then forgotten. Therefore it should come as no
surprise to learn how clear-cutting of forests has become the norm, even knowing
that the forest will likely not recover fully for generations after clear
cutting and countless animals will die in the process. It should come as no
surprise to learn of the appallingly large quantities of tropical rainforests
destroyed each day merely to make room for resorts or temporary farmland that
will eventually become desert land. It is not highly surprising to learn of
these and other such facts, yet they are still terrible to behold, especially
knowing that they continue to be true today and will most likely continue to be
true in the future.

The Forests of Canada

The forestry industry has always adopted a "cut and get out" philosophy,
which has been accepted and most often encouraged by land-hungry industrialized
populations who view trees as little more than an obstruction to growth.
(ENCARTA) Such philosophies mean in simple terms clear-cutting large tracts of
land and running as quickly as possible, leaving behind nothing but slash, a
slowly eroding landscape and animals searching for lost habitat. For a long
time forestry was no more than trying to reap maximum profits, clear maximum
land in minimum time and get out quickly. We have indeed come far since those
times. Clear-cutting is now a thing of the past and strict measures are in
place to ensure that logging is done in a sustainable manner. That can be
assured . . . can't it? No, not so readily as it may seem; that we have come a
far way already is evident but in which direction? Clear cutting, as will be
shown, is not a thing of the past and as to the regulations in place... we shall
see. These question, and many others besides, can be answered by looking at the
case study of Temagami.
The word Temagami has become inextricably

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Strathy Township, Temagami, First Nations in Ontario